Marais Viljoen found themselves in a second consecutive tight affair on Saturday, the second day of the Izuntaba Potch Gimmies Cricket Festival. This time, however, they came out on the winning side, scraping by Boland Landbou to claim a narrow eight-run victory.
The side from Alberton won the toss and elected to bat first. An impressive partnership between openers, Aldre Huyzers (50, 71b) and Jaden Govender (36, 34b) got Marais Viljoen off to a positive start. With a solid platform laid by the pair, Tian du Toit was afforded the freedom to play his attacking brand of cricket.
Du Toit let loose, scoring at a strike rate of 125 for his 64 not out, which came from only 51 deliveries. A valuable 41 from Tristan Thom towards the back end provided a much-needed boost for Marais Viljoen, which lifted them to a respectable target of 239/9 in their 50 overs.
For Boland Landbou, Stefan Conradie bowled an impressive line and length, showing that consistency remains the main contributor to a successful outing with the ball. After 10 overs, he walked away with figures of 4 for 60.
The Boland Landbou batters appeared to hit their stride early in their chase of 240 for victory. However, a decisive bowling performance from stalwart Declan Botes (4/31), which caused a middle-order collapse, dragged it back for his side.
Marius du Plessis restored some order to the Boland Landbou innings with a wonderfully constructed innings of 57 not out. With the visitors from the South falling behind the required run rate, Janco Visagie took it upon himself to try and get his team across the line.
Unfortunately, his quickfire 20 not out wasn’t quite enough as the Marais Viljoen bowlers restricted the Bolanders to only 231, claiming a well-deserved hard-fought victory.
EG Jansen proved to be too good for their rivals from Krugersdorp, Monument.
After winning the toss, Monnas struggled to get their innings going, with most of their top order making solid starts but failing to convert from there.
Waldo Greyling impressed with a fighting knock of 41 from 73 balls. He found solid support from Innocent Ramerafe, who was again among the runs, adding 33 to his tally for the week.
Egan Pretorius shone for the men from Boksburg. Showcasing his fine abilities with the ball, he claimed 3/17 and helped restrict Monument to a sub-par total of 172.
EG Jansen then continued their dominance with the willow. Rico Crouse played the anchor role, grafting hard for his 38 not out from 71 balls. Liam Green’s contribution of 37 and a well-played 31 from Jean Novellie was enough to see EG Jansen to a comfortable victory with six wickets to spare.
Marais Viljoen 239/9 (Tian du Toit 64*, Aldre Huyzers 50, Tristan Thom 41, Jaden Govender 36; Stefan Conradie 4/60, Tiaan Reyneke 2/37); Boland Landbou 231/8 (Marius du Plessis 57*, Henre Swart 44, Lohann Louw 28, Rynardt van der Schyff 24, Janco Visagie 20*; Declan Botes 4/31, Jordan Baijnath 2/47). Marais Viljoen won by eight runs.
Monument 172/10 (Waldo Greyling 41, Innocent Ramerafe 33, Caleb dos Santos 23, Rieghardt Prinsloo 20; Egan Pretorius 3/17, Zander Lubbe 2/21, Dale Slabbert 2/9); EG Jansen 173/4 (Rico Crouse 38*, Liam Green 37, Jean Novellie 31, JP van Staden 24; Prinsloo 1/24). EG Jansen won by six wickets.